COVID rates rise in the Valley

Snoqualmie Valley had two hospitalizations and one death over the past two weeks.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the Snoqualmie Valley for a second straight two-week span, but hospitalizations and deaths remain almost nonexistent.

Over the last two weeks, between Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, case rates for Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City and Carnation all increased when compared to the previous two weeks, between July 22 and Aug. 5, according to county data.

Snoqualmie and North Bend each had an additional 11 cases compared to the prior two-week period. Snoqualmie’s case rate increased from 200 cases per 100,000 residents to 272 cases. North Bend’s rate increased from 250 cases to 320 cases.

Fall City had had just one additional case compared to the last two weeks, with its case rate rising from 248 to 266. Carnation saw four additional cases and saw its rate jump from 215 to 265 cases per 100,000 residents.

Case rates for all four cities were below the county rate, which sits at 331 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days. Over the last two weeks, King County saw over 7,000 cases, 278 hospitalizations and 22 deaths.

Cases statewide have been on the rise, reaching peaks similar to those seen during last November and January — a timeframe that saw the highest number of cases during the pandemic. A big reason for the increase in cases is the Delta variant, which state health officials estimate is responsible for roughly 98% of new cases.

Hospitalization rates have followed similar trends, reaching rates near those found last winter. The state estimates that about a quarter of ICU beds at hospitals are being used to treat patients with COVID-19. Deaths continue to remain low.

Sherry Jennings, a spokesperson for the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, said the hospital is not currently treating any patients for COVID-19 as of Aug. 20. According to county data, the Snoqualmie Valley had two hospitalizations and one death over the last two weeks, all of which took place in Snoqualmie.

The majority of new cases are among those who are young. The state Department of Health reported the majority of cases are among those ages 20-40. In King County, 20- to 29-year-olds make up the majority of cases, with a rate of 13,286 per 100,000.

The majority of Snoqualmie’s cases are also among those ages 20-29, who have a case rate of 6,947. Both those ages 10-19 and ages 50-59 in Snoqualmie had case rates over 6,000.

In North Bend, 20- to 29-year-olds had the second highest case rate, at 13,126 cases, behind only those age 80-plus, who had a rate over 15,000. Those ages 10-19 had a rate of 9,577.

Unvaccinated individuals between ages 16-64 are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are vaccinated, according to the state Department of Health.

All Valley cities, with the exception of Fall City, have vaccination rates above the state’s 70% goal. Fall City’s rate sits at 67%.

The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital continues to see a large increase in testing, and has reopened its drive-through testing facility at the hospital. The hospital is preparing to provide third shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, beginning with patients who are immunocompromised, starting Sept. 20.

Starting Aug. 23, the state will reimpose a mask mandate. Masks must be worn indoors by everybody, over age 5, regardless of vaccination status, in retail stores, restaurants and other public indoor settings.